Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful time Christmas Eve at Marie’s. She invited folks from our old Sunday school class. It was great to see Johan, Loren, Jonathan, Bill, Royce, Devon and Bubba. And always a riotous pleasure with Marie’s kids Brian, Julianna and Gracie. Rogue, Marie’s dog, even got to participate in the games, until the food came out.

We worked all day in the cold without a real meal. What an extra treat that Marie and Julianna had wrestled up a home cooked meal, even after Marie’s full day of contact shopping. I opted for efficiency and brought the cookie makings to Marie’s. Nice to bake more than nine cookies at a time.

The group had a Bible study, a view of our Christ from the perspective of His second coming. Good discussions, even with the kids. We also had hours of giggles and some side splitting moments when Devon came out of his shell. For Devon’s sake, we will recount none of it here. I understand there is sufficient disinformation published on Facebook.

As we said our goodbyes after midnight, my heart went out to Marie. She still had the kid’s presents to wrap and other preparations for the morning. The kids had long since gone to sleep, rapidly restoring their energy levels in support of launching a morning foray to which Marie would undoubtedly succumb. But only momentarily – no time for pity parties as a single mom! And she’s doing great.

For Christmas Day we were invited to Casey and Melissa’s house. It was delightful to visit with them and their daughter Mia. Even before three, there were a number of sayings Mia learned to quip at just the right moment, such as Myron’s infamous, Jersey influenced “how you doin’?” [directed by Mia at an unknown man in the grocery store]; and, after learning about capitalism and socialism, “Pelosi wants to take my toys.” No quotes today, mostly play acting with new toys. I suspended Rapunzel in a 'tower' and Buzz Lightyear flew up and saved her, in total disregard to storyline boundaries.

Even so far away from family, it is a pleasure to have family in Christ right here to share in the celebration of His birth!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas!

P.S. - 12.26.10
Still in JAX. Today, wind 25 knots and freezing rain. An inside day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12.14.10 Preparations Update

We are still in JAX. In an effort to maintain a positive attitude – which contributes far more than words can describe – we are looking at our extended stay not as a delay, but as preparation for the southern ocean. It was a brisk 25 degrees Fahrenheit when we started stirring this morning. Myron’s first order of business was to fire up our wood/coal stove; my first order of business was to wait for Myron to fire up the stove. The weather report warned that wind chill would make our temperatures between 10 to 15 degrees. Unfortunately, the stove prematurely extinguished itself shortly after Myron headed to the “facilities.” We use the marina’s “facilities” since there is no pump out station here. I estimate a one way trip from our dock to the facilities to be somewhere between 100 and 200 yards. It brings new meaning and effort to the “call of nature.”

I have not yet mastered Myron’s magical stove starting and maintaining formulas. Consequently, Hold Fast was quickly cooling off prompting me to venture out in the windy cold on a quest for physical evidence of the temperatures. I did not have to travel far. A leaky dock faucet stalagmite was visible from our boat. [See Pic]

I give credit below to a few items that help us better handle the cooler temperatures, inside and outside Hold Fast:
• Smart Wool underlayers - such as Merino wool; there are two operative words: “wool” and “layers”
• Wood/Coal stove – today we are burning mesquite, a double treat of heat and aroma; it is also a dry heat, something that contributes to a more rapid removal of condensation
• Insulation – closed cell foam, purchased from Home Depot, we lined the hull sides wherever accessible
• Beanies and gloves – probably does not need to be mentioned, however, most females are not willing to wear a beanie
• Toasty blanket – we made a duvet out of fleece and inserted an old poly-fill coleman sleeping bag. The intent was a storage solution for the sleeping bag. We were pleasantly surprised with the thermal results after testing the combination on a sub-freezing night with no heater running. The super-soft comfy factor is a bonus! We made the duvet closure buttons using a standard terminal knot called a Monkey’s Fist. [See Pics]

We continue to press toward departure. We appreciate your prayers and well wishes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Sunrise over Jacksonville
Photo taken from Sadler Point boatyard

All is well

New Rudder
We are back in the water.